With new study presented at the American Academy of Neurology, an injection once a week could lessen the number of migraines by 50 percent.
For those who suffer from migraines, this is welcome news. Bedridden for days with minds splitting headaches that cause nausea, vomiting, and even sensitivity to light and sound. Four million Americans have chronic migraines each month according to the American Headache Society. These symptoms last anywhere from ten to fourteen days.
However, thanks to the injection, migraine sufferers could see a significant increase in their quality of life. With shorter migraines, these individuals could start to regain a semblance of normalcy in their daily lives.
New Injection a Breakthrough in Migraine Studies
The injection works because of a synthetic antibody named Erenumab which is injected weekly. Erenumab is unique because it blocks calcitonin gene-related peptite, a neural pathway that sends the pain signals to the brain during a migraine. The injection’s job is to stop CGRP’s message before the onslaught of a headache.
This discovery is a welcome change to the field of migraine research as there has been almost no advance for two decades. For mild migraines, there’s ibuprofen for the pain. Stronger migraines resort to prescriptions such as ergotamine and sumatriptan. These drugs try to ease the migraines by tightening neural blood vessels. However, there is a side effect of vertigo. Even Botox has a history of reducing the pain by relaxing the muscles that would tighten up during the onslaught of a migraine. However, this is an expensive option and has a list of side effects itself.
Erenumab, on the other hand, could provide a remedy with no side effects usually brought on by typical migraine treatments.
Preliminary research published in November in The New England Journal of Medicine showed with small doses such as 70 or 140 mg; patients saw a smaller amount of migraines without side effects.
Peter Goasby, the study lead at the Univerity of California and Kings College London states that this is the first drug for migraine prevention. This discovery will be a considerable change to patients who do not respond to usual treatments.
Those who suffer from migraines won’t have to wait for long. Plans are already in place for the injection to be approved by the FDA in May of this year. The catch, however, is that it will cost patients roughly $10,000 a year.